Wednesday, 14 January 2015

SOCIAL MEDIA ENVY?

social media envy

I guess it's not new information that social media makes us unhappy.

I realised that of all the social media platforms there are out there, Instagram is the ultimate culprit for me. My #1 instinct when I feel bored is to scroll through Instagram, and it actually makes me feel worse.

Everyone on Instagram will appear to have more friends, have a more interesting and eventful life, have more and better things, eat at nice restaurants, etc, more so than you. Duh, it's like some sort of selective bias. People tend to appear happier than they truly are because that is the side of their lives they will share on social media. Plus, chances are you are on Instagram because you are bored. Comparing your current bored self with photos of people's eventful lives on social media makes the discrepancy larger than it actually is and leads to unfair comparison. 

I think I am quite susceptible to making such comparisons and feeling bad about my own situation. I will be bored and alone and I will scroll through my Instagram feed, only to feel lonely and crave for the company of friends, or crave for the food I see. I will feel bad for myself when I want to try a certain food/activity but cannot find the company to try with, while others have no such issue. But this pity party is pathetic and absolutely unnecessary - why should I be wasting time and energy feeling sorry for myself when it is merely a false impression I conjured through inaccurate portrayals of people's lives on social media?

There is certainly more to people's lives than what they show on social media and I should know because my Instagram feed is the same. I do not share every minute and boring detail of my everyday life and while I am sure there are exceptions, it does not appear to be the case for those that I follow.

In view of this 'enlightenment' (ha ha), I have decided to try and use Instagram less. The app icon used to be on my home screen but I have now hidden it in my app drawer. It requires more effort to search for, and it really does work. Each time I want to scroll through Instagram but fail to find the icon on my home screen, it serves as a reminder to use it less. Plus, I will be too lazy to hunt for the icon anyway. It's still early days, but I do feel like my mood, while not improving because of this, has at least been prevented from worsening as a result of social media. 

I am still rather active on Instagram, but certainly less than before (and hopefully at a more healthy amount now). Everything in moderation, I guess? 

Where the Instagram icon used to be now lies the Reddit app, so whenever I feel bored, I'll just scroll through Reddit. It has cute or funny pictures and interesting threads so it is actually a more effective cure for boredom anyway. If that fails, I always have my Kindle around too :)

We shall see how this progresses.

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